Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) is hiring a staff or senior staff attorney to provide legal and technical support to community groups and partner organizations to protect public rights to a healthy environment.
MEA is a nonprofit law center that combines the power of law with the resolve of communities facing environmental injustice to secure and protect the rights of all people to healthy water, land, and air. We provide legal services to communities with environmental concerns and seek to build their power by enhancing their knowhow and working collaboratively to create opportunities for their voices to impact legal and policy outcomes. We are seeking an attorney to further our community-based approach to environmental lawyering.
MEA brings high-impact litigation on behalf of the communities we serve. Our work focuses on protection of the Great Lakes, opposing fossil fuel infrastructure, mitigating climate change, improving climate resilience, upholding the Public Trust Doctrine, and strengthening policy and regulatory responses to water contamination.
AREAS OF FOCUS:
MEA’s Legal Team is collaborative and team oriented. While assigned projects can be adapted based on the expertise of the chosen candidate, the attorney can expect to work on many of these issues:
- Legal and policy strategies to achieve clean drinking water for Wisconsin communities, especially in response to contamination from lead, nutrient pollution, and PFAS compounds.
- Opposing carbon-intensive infrastructure and using regulatory and legal mechanisms to achieve energy and transportation decisions that benefit overburdened communities and promote climate justice.
- Defending legal processes and institutions that promote transparency, equitable public participation, and environmental democracy.
- Develop and litigate cases in collaboration with MEA colleagues and external partners.
- Develop and engage in legal advocacy by drafting rulemaking petitions, submitting comments to agencies, developing fact sheets and other materials, participating in coalition meetings, and drafting and reviewing legislation.
- Work with Wisconsin residents and other organizations to identify threats and opportunities to improve public rights and the environment.
- Assist legal team with mentorship and feedback for legal interns and periodically supervise law students within MEA’s clerkship program and new attorneys serving as fellows at MEA.
- Appear at public events to professionally represent MEA.
- Occasional in-state travel required for trials, client meetings, public hearings, and other events.
- Awareness of and respect for the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations and knowledge of or connection to communities that have historically been denied meaningful input into environmental decision-making.
- A commitment to environmental stewardship and public interest law.
- Juris Doctor from an accredited law school and licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin (or the willingness to become a member of the Wisconsin bar upon hire).
- Skill at working in teams and coalitions and taking a creative and multifaceted approach to issue advocacy.
- Neither previous environmental law experience nor post-law school legal experience is required to be considered for this position.
- At least four years of legal experience in the areas of environmental and administrative law. Experience with Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law or other work with Native Nations is a plus.
- High-level litigation skills, including case investigation, brief writing, pre-trial preparation, oral advocacy and trials, and settlement negotiations showing a track record of success, increasing independence and responsibility.
- Scientific literacy and ability to work with scientific experts to digest complex issues.
- Exceptional writing, research, analytic and public speaking skills.
- Experience in policy development, analysis, and review.
- High-level organizational and time management skills and attention to detail.
- Ability to work independently to manage multiple goals while effectively communicating and collaborating within a team structure.
Compensation is dependent on experience and qualifications. Salary range is $65,000 to $80,000 per year. Higher compensation may be available to extremely qualified candidates. In addition, MEA offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, long-term disability, and a retirement plan with employer match. This is not a fully remote position; however, staff attorneys may work remotely approximately three days per week.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample (<20 pp.) and three references by email. If possible, please combine all documents into one file before submission. Your 1–2-page cover letter should address how you satisfy the minimum qualifications listed above and highlight any key examples of how you meet the preferred qualifications. Midwest Environmental Advocates ATTN: Ry Carpenter, Administrative Manager (he/him/his) 612 W. Main St, Suite 302 Madison, WI 53703 firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.